It’s a challenge trying to pinpoint what peaked my interest in street art and when I started taking photos of urban works since I wasn’t terribly interested in the graffiti as I saw it in the 80’s. It might’ve been a little later in college when I met an international student named Marco from Italy. He was a character, tough guy with heart of gold who loved his old school eighties hip hop culture, complete with beats, kicks, pops & locks.
I remember us taking a trip down to a shop in Chinatown to pick up some books he said he wanted and used them as guides to check out the spots listed. Everything in the books was long gone by the time we found the spots, but the adventures of wandering the subways were fun (and rarely, in other areas horrifying).
Looking back on so many of my photos as I edit them for posts, it’s impossible to recall anything now other than the moments surrounding these old shots. Everything else I learn about the culture of rotating street art comes later as I start to research the artists, discovering their voices and missions. Everybody has a story and I’ve come to appreciate the courage it takes to put ideas on display, but mostly I really just enjoy the random bursts of vibrant colors within the city concrete. It makes a daily ritual a little less sterile.
Eighteen years later, off of Wyckoff on Schaefer Street (Bushwick side), I’m smugly reminded by my days in college while watching a young couple take selfies with the Big-E piece and linger in that dead end, waiting for me to move on so they can whatever it is I wasn’t cool enough to see. In those moments, it felt very full-circle for me, counting back the years.
Admittedly, I can’t always find or read the artists’ signatures so I’m unable to credit their sites or social media; please feel free to send links and/or corrections in the comments.